In this Expert Insight Interview, Shelley Brown discusses individuality in the context of work. The Original Weird Girl — Shelley Brown recently released a book called Weird Girl Adventures From A to Z.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- The value of individuality in a business setting
- Why conformity leads to many missed opportunities
- How companies can help people express themselves in the work environment
Individuality vs Familiarity
As humans, we like a certain amount of individuality, but we also like a certain number of things we’re familiar with. This is especially true when we hire people and build teams. In these situations, we’re primarily looking for familiarity because we know how to deal with particular types of people.
When somebody is far away from what we’re familiar with, it puts us outside our comfort zone, which can be tricky, especially in a business setting.
Value of Individuality
We have an idea of what we want people to look like, so we look at individuality as something that separates us when it is really what unites us. When we look at people as a specific type of “avatar” looking for them to fit in, we’re missing out on many different types of people who can be innovative, divergent thinkers and bring different things to the table.
Individuality is an extraordinary way to bring people together, and it should never be underestimated, in business or otherwise. Doing so could lead to many missed opportunities when it comes to expanding our minds and helping us think outside the box.
There is a certain amount of pressure on people when they go to work to adopt a persona and conform. At the very least, people feel this pressure, whether this behavior is actually expected of them or not.
Almost everybody has a “work persona”, and this side of you may not be your authentic self. We do this because we don’t necessarily feel comfortable about expressing our authentic selves. Still, companies, managers, and executives can not only help bring out the individuality in their employees but also help them channel it in the right way.